Thinking Out Laub
Welcome to my blog.
I plan to write about things that interest me, and hopefully will interest you. About the media. And marketing. And being a working mom.
I’ve been threatening to start a blog for some time now and keep procrastinating. It’s time for me to stop the excuses and start writing. I know some really cool people in the entertainment, agency and publishing worlds and this blog will give me an excuse to chat with them about their careers, what’s new and the industry, and how they envision the media landscape evolving.
I’ll give you my two cents about news and trends, too. But first, a little personal history.
I began studying media as an undergraduate at Penn when I signed up for this weird major called Communications. The Annenberg School for Communication attracted me because instead of studying different subjects from a single academic perspective, it focused on a single subject (communication) through the lens of many different disciplines (history, psychology, sociology, etc.)
The program was more scholarly than pragmatic, however. I graduated with great insight into the role of international communication on national development and the films of Alfred Hitchock, for example, but no clue what the difference was between the Account, Media and Creative departments of an ad agency.
My first job was in the ad sales department of a television syndication company called All American Television. Our big hit was “America’s Top 10 with Casey Kasem” and our highly technical system of tracking what spots were sold was putting stickers on a chart on the wall, color coded for each sales person. It was here that I received two pieces of invaluable advice:
1. My boss, John Reisenbach, told me to always carry a pen and notepad with me so I could write down (and therefore remember) what I was being asked to do. Of course I couldn’t write that advice down, as I was standing there with neither pen nor paper… but I never made that mistake again.
2. George Back, the president of the company, said that if he was getting into the television industry today — today being 1985 — he would work in cable. I took his advice and was soon at the just-launched Consumer News and Business Channel, better known as CNBC.
Based in a non-descript office building in the global media capital of Fort Lee, New Jersey, CNBC was like the ugly redheaded stepchild of NBC. We couldn’t have imagined back then that the cable division would eventually outpace the broadcast network in earnings, grow to include dozens of top-rated networks, and be eaten up by Comcast.
I had a front-row seat (well, maybe front row of the balcony) as media luminaries like Bob Wright, Tom Rogers, Roger Ailes and David Zaslav made deals, launched networks, and built The Little Cable Network That Could into a multi-billion dollar business.
After a decade at what was, by then, called NBC Cable Networks, I headed across the river to the big city and a little entertainment advertising agency called MK. Climbing up the ranks from Account Director to Partner, I’ve had the privilege of working with a diverse roster of media properties, helping them build their awareness, distribution and revenue.
It’s been a crazy ride. I look forward to sharing my past and future adventures with you.